If there’s one thing we will be watching out for in 2017, it will be Arnab Goswami in his new avatar – and we sincerely hope it will be new – on his new channel, called Republic. The former Times Now Editor-in-Chief came on record last night to state the name of his next venture but that’s pretty much all that is known about it for now. There’s talk that Goswami will be partnering with Fox; names like Star are also doing the rounds but there have been no concrete announcements.
Back in Goswami’s old organisation, Times Now, there have been quite a few resignations of some of its important editors and reporters. A total of about eight people have resigned from Delhi and Mumbai bureaux. According to our sources in Times Now, these people have been served with a legal caution notice that enforces the “non-compete” clause, which employees signed at the time of joining. The clause denies the right to the outgoing employees to join any other competing network before completing a year from the time of resignation.
However, it would be important to note that during Goswami’s tenure as Editor-in-Chief, several employees of the Times Television Network quit to join other competing networks without having to adhere to the “non-compete” clause. One of the sources told Newslaundry: “This clause was never enforced before.”
Newslaundry reached out to some of the journalists who have quit in the past month, but none of them were available for a comment. We also sent a mail to Times TV Network Managing Director MK Anand. The story will be updated if and when he chooses to reply.
Meanwhile, sources in Times Now informed us that the fear of more resignations got the management to hold a Town Hall with its employees in its Noida office last week.
The Town Hall was held at the TV channel’s Noida office at 12 pm and lasted till about 3:30 pm. According to our source, the management stressed on the fact that the channel will no longer be a one-man show and that the network will put in money to make sure business does not suffer. It was also stated that Goswami was not the sole driver of TRPs for Times Now. (Which seems to be true for now.)
“The management believes that some folks quitting is okay but a continuous trend amounts to destaffing to destroy Times Now. At a point, they also compared Goswami-led prime time with Comedy Nights with Kapil,” said the source. We were also informed that the management mocked Goswami for roping in advertisers for funding his new “independent” initiative. Goswami, in his parting speech, had said “independent media will thrive”, but the Times management pointed out that he couldn’t have said that without having advertisers in place, said a source. We don’t know about that but we’re glad the big guys at Times Network are paying heed to what we have been screaming out loud for five years now: For news media to be truly independent, it has to be free from advertisers. (Not-so-subtle plug: While you wait for Goswami’s “independent” new initiative, you can do your bit to keep us ad-free here.)